Sadiq Khan launches innovative disability hub at Stratford’s Liberty Festival

PUBLISHED: 13:29 05 September 2016 | UPDATED: 13:31 05 September 2016

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with visitors to the Liberty Festival 2016 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Ben Broomfield

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with visitors to the Liberty Festival 2016 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Picture: Ben Broomfield

Ben Broomfield

The world’s first Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub was welcomed by the Mayor of London at a National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP).

One of the dance performances at the Liberty Festival 2016 on Saturday. Picture: Ben Broomfield One of the dance performances at the Liberty Festival 2016 on Saturday. Picture: Ben Broomfield

A collaboration between academics, disabled people, designers and communities, the Hub will boost the lives of disabled people worldwide via innovations in design, technology and culture.

GDI Hub will be led in the long-term by by University of College London (UCL) and QEOP at its new Stratford campus.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It is fantastic that the GDI Hub will be based at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which hosted the most successful Paralympic Games of all time and changed perceptions of disability on a global scale.”

Other partners will include Loughborough University London, UAL’s London College of Fashion, Leonard Cheshire Disability, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sadler’s Wells, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art and disabled peoples’ organisations and community groups.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Paralympian and LLDC Board member said: “What better place to locate the new GDI Hub than on the very Park that staged the most successful Paralympic Games in history?

“Some of the world’s best universities and arts institutions are coming to the Park and their expertise on disability has the potential to deliver life-changing innovation.”

The launch was marked during Saturday’s National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival, attended by 8,000 people, ahead of the opening of the Paralympic Games on Thursday.

The festival, now in its 14th year and in its fourth at QEOP, featured a live programme of live music, dance, film, art installations and street theatre by deaf and disabled performers.

A number of Paralympic and inclusive sports, including Boccia, para-triathlon, athletics and wheelchair tennis were also open to the public on the South Lawn.

See our gallery below for images from the day.

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